Making custard involves tempering eggs and thickening the mixture by using cornstarch.
You’ll need to let the custard chill for 2 hours before using.
We’ll be making custard filling that can used for a variety of desserts including Danishes, Mille Feuille, or cakes.
See video here.
What ingredients do you need to make custard
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar granulated
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp butter unsalted
- 2 cups milk
How to Make Custard Filling from Scratch
- Cut the vanilla bean down the center to expose the vanilla beans inside. Remove all of the vanilla beans in the pod and place in your milk in a saucepan. Put the entire vanilla bean into the saucepan as well.
- Heat the milk until simmering. Do not boil the milk. A simmer will look like very tiny air bubbles in the milk. As soon as the milk comes to a simmer, remove the saucepan from the heat source.
- Let the vanilla bean infuse flavor into the milk for 15 minutes.
- While your vanilla bean is steeping, prepare your egg yolks. Separate your eggs by cracking the egg in half, over a bowl to catch the egg whites. Holding the 2 halves in each hand, then transfer the egg yolk to each half egg shell until all of the egg white is removed. Place the egg yolks into a heat proof bowl.
- Add cornstarch and sugar to the egg yolks. Whisk the mixture until the dry ingredients are fully dissolved.
- Once the warm milk is done steeping, remove the vanilla bean. Gently and gradually add a couple of tablespoons of warm milk to the egg mixture. Whisk the mixture vigorously as you add the milk. The goal is to not cook the eggs.
- Once you’re finished adding the warm milk, strain the mixture and place back into the saucepan. You can put a sifter or strainer over top of the saucepan and then pour the egg/milk mixture through the strainer to remove any cooked eggs.
- Place the saucepan back onto the heat source and warm on medium heat.
- Whisk the mixture continuously. Heat the mixture until you feel the resistance of the custard. The cornstarch will activate and create a very thick mixture.
- When you feel the custard thicken, cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, let it cool a little.
- Add 1 tbsp of butter to the saucepan and whisk together.
- Place a plastic film on the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
- Once the saucepan has cooled enough to go in the fridge, chill for 2 hours before using.
How long is custard good for
Custard is good for 3 days in the fridge, or up to 1 month in the freezer.
How do you thicken custard
Custard is thickened by adding cornstarch to the egg yolks. Cornstarch is activated by heat and makes the custard have a gelatin texture to it. The custard is thickened and creates a creamy, luscious mixture.
Why your custard isn’t thickening
If you don’t heat the milk/egg mixture enough, your custard won’t thicken. You will feel the resistance of the custard when it thickens. Keep heating your mixture and whisk until you feel the custard coming together.
How to make custard without custard powder
Custard powder has cornstarch and vanilla flavoring in it’s contents and is used for creating custard or pudding.
To make custard without custard powder, you’ll want to use corn starch, vanilla extract or vanilla beans, and egg yolks to thicken your custard.